Graduation Requirements: Advanced Studies Diploma

Advanced Studies Diploma

Discipline Area

Standard Credits

(9th grade entry 2011-12 and beyond)

Verified Credits

(9th grade entry in 2017-18 or prior)

Verified Credits

(9th grade entry in 2018-19 and beyond)





History and Social Sciences








Laboratory Sciences




World Languages

3 (or 2+2)


Health and Physical Education



Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education (CTE)



Economics and Personal Finance






Student-Selected Tests








Additional Requirements: Online Course, First Aid/CPR/AED Training, AP or DE Course

*ACPS requirement for students who entered 9th grade in 2017-18 and prior. 

**The Virginia Board of Education requires that students who enter 9th grade in 2018-19 and beyond complete either an AP, IB, or honors course OR earn a CTE credential. The ACPS AP or DE course requirement for the Advanced Studies diploma fulfills this Virginia requirement.



English –

English 9 or Honors English 9

English 10 or Honors English 10

English 11: Survey of American Literature, Honors English 11: Survey of American Literature, AP English Language and Composition or Dual Enrollment College Composition 11

English 12: British and World Literature, Honors English 12, AP English Literature and Composition, Dual Enrollment College Composition 12 or Dual Enrollment Survey of World Literature

Mathematics –

At or above the level of Algebra I, credits shall include at least three course selections from among Algebra I; Geometry; Algebra, Functions and Data Analysis; Algebra II or above Algebra II. Students in grades 7 and 8 who take Algebra I and Geometry during middle school will earn a high school credit for each subject.

Laboratory Sciences –

Four credits must be earned from among three different science disciplines: Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, or Physics. Students who enroll in AP science courses must co-enroll in and complete the appropriate AP Science Lab Seminars. When planning course selections, students must count two full periods for each AP science course. The AP course earns science credit and the AP Science Lab Seminar earns elective credit.

Social Sciences –

World History and Geography Part I, Honors World History and Geography Part I, or AP Human Geography

World History and Geography Part II, Honors World History and Geography Part II, or AP World History: Modern

Virginia and U.S. History, Honors Virginia and U.S. History , AP United States History or Dual Enrollment College U.S. History

Virginia and U.S. Government, Honors Virginia and U.S. Government - We the People, or AP Government

World Languages –

Three years of one language or two years each of two languages. Students in grades 6, 7, and 8 who successfully complete both parts 1A and 1B and year two of a World Language will earn two high school credits.

Electives –

Selected from among offerings in core academic disciplines, Fine Arts and/or CTE courses. Students who enter 9th grade in 2018-19 and beyond must take two electives that are sequential (coursework that builds similar skills).

Virtual Courses –

Students who enter 9th grade in 2013-14 and beyond must successfully complete one virtual course, which may be non-credit bearing or incorporated as a significant part of a course, such as Economics and Personal Finance.

First Aid/CPR/AED Training –

Students who enter 9th grade in 2016-17 and beyond are required to be trained in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of automated external defibrillators, including hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.


To earn Verified Credits, students in certain subjects must pass the course and the associated Standards of Learning (SOL) end-of-course test or tests (refer to Standards of Learning, End-of-Course Tests and Verified Credits).

NOTE – Each middle school student shall take all applicable SOL tests following course instruction. Each high school student shall take all associated AP and CTE tests following course instruction. Each high school student shall take all applicable SOL tests following course instruction that are needed to earn verified credit and/or that are required for federal accountability.

NOTE – Grades earned in Algebra I, Geometry, and/or World Languages during middle school will be used to calculate the high school grade point average (GPA) unless the parent/legal guardian exercises the option to omit the grades and credits from the high school transcript. When these high school courses are omitted from the student’s transcript, all graduation requirements must be met. For example, omitting Algebra I in middle school will require the student to earn three or four standard and verified credits of high school mathematics to meet graduation requirements.

Please note: Graduation requirements are subject to change. You may refer to the following link for more information: